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My real name is Charlie Albright. I am the pinnacle of evil who God has flooded with His mercy. Declaring my sinful self righteous and holy in His sight! Lavishing His grace upon me by the blood Jesus shed on the cross! Carrying me through this life and giving me satiatfing joy! Anything good about me is only because of His grace!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mark Dever: Gospel

People try to improve the Gospel. But in trying to improve it they lose it. (Cor, Gal, Col,). Do a study through the NT to find what the gospel is.

The gospel according to the Bible: God is fundamental. His creation, our plight, God’s solution by sending his Son. Him redeeming the creation.

Gal 1:4,We must keep the truth of the gospel clear. There are new challenges that rise against the gospel in every culture. They say that the gospel we preach is reductionistic. Just focusing on the message of Christ, they feel, is not giving full weight to what we should preach. However, we are not reducing it, we are is preserving it.

The threats that we face today.
A misunderstanding of what the church’s responsibility and the individual responsibility can reek havoc.

Five cries that people raise.
1. Make the gospel Public:

What is the gospel about? To transform the culture more than individual salvation. We are not instructed to directly instruct the lost on how to do culture. It is the effect of instructing Christians to live out the gospel. Only the return of Christ will bring the kingdom of Christ here on earth.

How much do we see the kingdom here on earth?

Confusion is created when we confuse transforming the culture as the main mission of the church or of the gospel.

Realize that the gospel given to us is a unique message that has been entrusted with us. We must make a distinction between the gospel and other things we hold to be true. Acts 8:12. The result of preaching of the kingdom of God is that people are baptized. Unchristian do not do kingdom work. When you add an “and” to the gospel, then you confuse the gospel. Evangelism is the priority. Works of compassion are part of a Christian’s life but they are not the gospel. Never substitute good works for the preaching the gospel.

2. Make the gospel larger.

Did Jesus come only to save our souls? What is at stake from this question is the core of the gospel. The people who make this cry think through the gospel worldview. However, implication of the gospel are sometimes referred to as part of the gospel. They agree with the gospel but want to add more.

Non-Christians can hold good moral positions but that does not make them Christians. We must not misunderstand what a Christian is. We must not misunderstand what the gospel is and what its implications are. Our good deeds only commend the gospel if the gospel is already there. Should distinguish the between the life produced by the gospel and the gospel itself. 1 Thess 2:8.
If we confuse the gospel with social issues, what do we do with Christians that don’t agree with our social Christians?

3. Make the gospel relevant.

How will people be saved? Some see the gospel as irrelevant to people today; so, we must follow Paul and contextualize the gospel.

Beware, a concern for evangelism with no ties to important theological truth leads to theological liberalism.

Shouldn’t our lives other than our weakly services draw people?

Seeking just one group does not show the uniting power of Christ.

We should contextualize the gospel. There are external ways to preach the gospel. We do this, not for our own comfort or the comfort of the sinner. One way to see if you are reaching people is to see the offense the gospel brings. If human skill can bring people in the church, then greater human skill can take them out.

4. Make the gospel personal.

Are we saved alone? Some people only see salvation as individual and not as part of the church. our participations either validates or falsifies our claim to preach the gospel. What does salvation mean? Are we saved alone or through the local church. People have gifts to serve a local congregation. However, the church is just one means to grow spiritually, but it can be left out if needed.

Some see the church as a plural form of Christianity. It is just made up of individual Christians. Being vague about the church can hurt the gospel.

The audible gospel is to be displayed by the visible church. Our life is to be live congregationally. The church is a furnace that produces more light. The very reason the world exist is that Christ may have a bride and show His glory to her.

5. Make the gospel kinder.

This people say, the ultimate goal of the gospel is the greatest good for the most people. So God wants to save the most people that he can. Reaching is not seen as them hearing the gospel but making people saved.

This is a root of the other problems. This tries to justifies God before the eyes of lost people as a kind. God is about the most glory of Himself. All that exist, exist for His pleasure.
Rom 9. God does what he does to make Himself known. Eph 3:10. We should want to see people saved, for there good, but more so for God’s glory.

Defend the gospel! The gospel is not merely about social issues but about eternal issues. Keep the gospel clear! Free from distortions. Don’t try to improve it!